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Toward a More Evidence-Based Nosology and Nomenclature for Female Sexual Dysfunctions-Part II

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  • Sharon J Parish
  • Andrew T Goldstein
  • Sue W Goldstein
  • Irwin Goldstein
  • James Pfaus
  • Anita H Clayton
  • Annamaria Giraldi
  • James A Simon
  • Stanley E Althof
  • Gloria Bachmann
  • Barry Komisaruk
  • Roy Levin
  • Susan Kellogg Spadt
  • Sheryl A Kingsberg
  • Michael A Perelman
  • Marcel D Waldinger
  • Beverly Whipple
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INTRODUCTION: Current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) definitions of sexual dysfunction do not identify all sexual problems experienced clinically by women and are not necessarily applicable for biologic or biopsychosocial management of female sexual dysfunction. A unified nomenclature system enables clinicians, researchers, and regulatory agencies to use the same language and criteria for determining clinical end points, assessing research results, and managing patients.

AIM: To develop nomenclature with classification systems for female sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm disorders with definitions pertinent to clinicians and researchers from multiple specialties who contribute to the field of sexual medicine.

METHODS: Key national and international opinion leaders diverse in gender, geography, and areas of expertise met for 2 days to discuss and agree to definitions of female sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm disorders and persistent genital arousal disorder. The attendees consisted of 10 psychiatrists and psychologists; 12 health care providers in specialties such as gynecology, internal medicine, and sexual medicine; three basic scientists; and one sexuality educator, representing an array of societies working within the various areas of sexual function and dysfunction.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: A unified set of definitions was developed and accepted for use by the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and members of other stakeholder societies participating in the consensus meeting.

RESULTS: Current DSM-5 definitions, in particular elimination of desire and arousal disorders as separate diagnoses and lack of definitions of other specific disorders, were adapted to create ISSWSH consensus nomenclature for distressing sexual dysfunctions. The ISSWSH definitions include hypoactive sexual desire disorder, female genital arousal disorder, persistent genital arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder, pleasure dissociative orgasm disorder, and female orgasmic illness syndrome.

CONCLUSION: Definitions for female sexual dysfunctions that reflect current science provide useful nomenclature for current and future management of women with sexual disorders and development of new therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe journal of sexual medicine
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1888-1906
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

ID: 49574709